Thoughts on the Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Roll Away

All I wanted were your artistic interpretations of Veneta. Drawings of Ken Babbs telling everyone they were about to be sprayed with shitwater. Watercolors of Billy’s posture. A novelization of the Dark Star. Whatever: I just thought it was something we could do together.

If you’ll recall, I made one for you, seen here:

veneta art jerry dong paintI received nothing in return. Were you intimidated by my artistic skills? I mean, you can’t even see the brush strokes.

No matter: intent is nothing. I got no art.



It’s been, like, two days.

That’s two generations to a fruit fly.

No one sent you crude drawings of a concert from 43 years ago, so you loosed a barrage of Rolling Stones-based shaky premises, links, and blatant homoeroticism at them?

What possible other option was there?

I didn’t think of it that way.

One does what one must.

Right. So: the nigh-on-infinite parade of virtually-identical concerts and bottomless well of pictures of coked-up limeys?


You know I love the Stones, right?

Yes, I do.



Two Thousand Light From Brome?


Ebrotional Rescue?


The Stones are about their albums.

They are, yeah.

There’s nothing deeper than Mick and Keith and Charlie playing the songs the way they’re supposed to go, but a little faster.


Just find the best show from ’72 and the best one from ’78 and listen to those. All the other shows are exactly the same, but not as good.

It turns out that this is the case, yes.

What about the art?

Oh, Swaggie Maggie sent me this:


The dog eating the baby’s food?

It’s good, isn’t it?


You knew what it was.

That is not the metric by which art is measured.

I don’t know, man: I like it when stuff looks like the stuff that it is.

You’re a moderd-day Robert Hughes.

I have no idea who that is. Anyway: Maggie solved the puzzle and said the magic words and clicked her ruby Tuesdays and that’s it: GARCIA AND THE PALO ALTO PLAYMAKERS, MOTHERFUCKER.

Whatcha got in the tape deck?

Can’t go wrong with ’73

Chileans would disagree with that statement.

Fuck ’em.

Yeah. Yeah, y’know what: God Bless the Grateful Dead and God Damn Chile, May The Entire Country Get Ass-Measles.

Everything’s back to normal.


Midnight Jambler

The question comes over the transom: Did the Stones jam?

To form any kind of answer, we must first define our terms. What does it mean to jam?

My definition is this: to (intentionally) get to a point in a musical performance where you can’t get back to the original song. Not without some doing: you can meander and solo your way back there, or find your way back into another song, or start throwing drumsticks at musical guests and start an intra-band fracas, but you’re no longer playing the song you started.

The Stones do not do this. The Stones vamp while Mick points his potato salad at the cheap seats; Keith might signal the band to keep playing for a few more bars under a solo; they might even improvise a twelve-bar. There is no possibility of a Mind Left Body Jam breaking out.

The Stones don’t jam, because the pyro goes off on this beat, and the giant inflatable hookers sway during this song, and so on.

Mainly, tho, the Stones don’t jam because of one simple fact: Stones’ songs go a certain way. People want to hear Brown Sugar, not this year’s weird re-arranging of it. Mick gives the people what they want.

Still to come: Live At The Max.

Stray Cat Blues

1969 Palm Beach Pop Festival

This is farcical, just so you know. Mick did not use kittens as microphones.

Down Under My Thumb

Fun fact: Ronnie and that koala both have chlamydia.

Driving That Train

We must compare apples to apples, never to oranges. Forget grapefruit. (Even though if both an apple and an orange were loaded into the hopper of a pitching machine and aimed at your potato salad, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference when the doctor asked what happened.)

So: no use to put the Dead and the Stones side-by-side if you’re going to hold up, say, the Rotterdam Dark Star to, say, Mick bucking around the stage atop a giant inflatable penis.*

If only they played the same tunes…

This is from the ’78 tour for Some Girls. Of note is Mick’s Bobby-esque way with the lyrics, and the fact that it lasts less than three minutes.

This is from the Dead’s ’74 tour with the Wall–


–and…shut up, you.


Shush. Anyway, this was the only time the Dead ever played it. Of note is the fact that it lasts less than four minutes, which is an absolute miracle for the Grateful Dead.

Give ’em the old Side-by-Side and make up your own mind.

Don’t give the comment section the satisfaction, please.

Fine. Jerry Band did it, too. Of note THIRTEEN FUCKING MINUTES. (But, it’s awesome and erstwhile Stone backup pianist Nicky Hopkins is on it, and so it Ronnie Tutt, so if they had just played this song for the whole set, it would have been okay. John Kahn is also present.)


*Don’t doubt me:

Photo of Rolling Stones

Crossfire Hurricane

Hurricane Erika is on the way, and I am frightened. It’s the “k” in the name. Hurricane Erica could be reasoned with; Erika is starting shit.

Under Covers In The Night

Psst. Hey. Over here. Before he notices.

There’s gonna be some more Stones stuff. In fact, he’s listening to Some Girls Live in Texas from the ’78 tour, and he’s going to insist that his rock and roll turkey has lately been basted with nothing but Stones gravy, but that’s not true.

(This is the part where I would step in and point out that the last sentence made no sense, but all systems have broken down here.)

You know that thin window between being too stoned to do anything, but also too stoned to fall asleep? When best practices demand darkness, headphones, and the Dead?

Maybe if you listen carefully enough, the transition from Dark Star into the Sugar Mags will make you cry, too.

Excuse me.

Oh, shit.

What the fuck?

Um. Hey! Look at this:


What were we talking about?

Nothing at all.

Dude, Stones rule.


Yeah, man. Fuckin’ KEEEEEEEEEF.


I don’t know how many more times I can listen to Miss You.

It’s not Shakedown, is it?

I was trying not to actively compare those two things.


What A Beautiful Buzz

All the Stones posts are annoying people, huh?

Little, yeah.

Remember how irritated people got at all the Phish posts a while back?

Big time. Lot of Cranky Carls and Snippy Sues.

Oh, c’mon. Don’t be a child.



Why are you openly antagonizing your base?

I was toilet trained using the “sink or swim” method.

Do I want–

No, you don’t

–to know what that is?

Loving Cup is an underrated masterpiece of a song.

The best part is how Mick pronounces shit: “I can run, and jump, and feeesh, but I won’t fight.”

Mick tells vowels what to do, not the other way around.

It’s The Hatter, Not The Hat

Annnndddd I’m gay now. Thanks, Mick.

Wait. That hat. I’ve seen that hat before. Where have I seen that silly thing?

bobby phil hatAh, right.

“Oo wore it bettuh, guv?”

Obviously you, but you’re still not allowed to talk.

Storm Is Raging


I have lost control of myself.

I hope a Hells Angel stabs you.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,845 other followers